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3D action at FIFA World Cup this year

Sony Corp. will use special cameras for filming World Cup matches in 3D

3D filming will be realised at five out of the 10 FIFA World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
3D filming will be realised at five out of the 10 FIFA World Cup stadiums: Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and Sony Corporation have announced plans to broadcast a three-dimensional experience of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Sony has been working on enhancing the 3D capture of football action since the FIFA Confederations Cup last year in South Africa and has already conducted a number of 3D filming trials in Europe.

The company now plans to have seven pairs of Sony's professional HDC cameras on rigs at the 2010 FIFA World Cup matches to capture the action in 3D quality. Twenty five matches will be filmed and broadcast in 3D, including the opening game on 11 June at Soccer City and the final game on 11 July.

"The 3D feed from these 25 matches will be made available for broadcast on 3D channels, which can be enjoyed by consumers on their 3D-compatible TV sets in the comfort of their home, almost as if they were in the football stadium themselves. Whilst discussions with major broadcasters are ongoing, I am very pleased to announce the first confirmed partners for the 3D live broadcast, who are ESPN in the US and Sogecable in Spain. We expect further announcements to be made shortly," explained Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV.

Aside from the 3D live broadcast and special public viewing activities planned, football fans will be able to see exclusive 3D promotional trailers shown on Sony 3D Bravia TVs in nearly 4,000 Sony-affiliated retail stores worldwide. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will also produce and distribute the official FIFA film in 3D on Blu-ray Disc this year.

Interest in 3D content has been growing with the release of several blockbuster movies and the entry of 3D televisions into homes. Samsung recently announced plans to start selling 3D TVs in the United Arab Emirates before the end of May, while Sony and Panasonic don't plan to be far behind with their own 3D TV models.

Recently, a technology expert from Hong Kong called 3D televisions a ‘gimmick', stating that there was a serious lack of real 3D content available to home viewers.

Several health warnings have also been issued over watching 3D TVs over long periods of time, including one from manufacturers Samsung who say that "watching TV while wearing 3D Active Glasses for an extended period of time may cause headaches or fatigue" and may also cause  motion sickness, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability.